Annual Pediatric Well Check Visit Identifies Undiagnosed Heart Condition: Corbin, age 10, Shares His Heart Care Story


Corbin's story shared by his mom, Jenna.

July 26, 2017 started out as a normal day, until Corbin went in for his annual physical at UnityPoint Clinic - Pediatrics with Dr. Leslie Greenlee, her nurse noticed that Corbin's heart rate seemed abnormally fast and informed Dr. Greenlee. 

As a parent I noticed that both of them had taken more time than usual to listen to his heart and had my suspicion confirmed when Dr. Greenlee informed me she wanted Corbin to have an EKG performed. She kept things simple and as my concern was elevated and I wanted to know how serious she thought this was asked if it could wait until the next morning. She informed me that a technician was on their way from the UnityPoint Clinic Pediatric Cardiology Office next door. Once the EKG was finished she sent us on home. Later that night she called and said Corbin would need to be fitted with a heart monitor the next morning to determine the nature of his condition. 

Corbin in St. Luke's Pediatric

Corbin on procedure day

 Corbin and his brother Aiden
all ready to go trick or treating
 for Halloween.

Pediatric Cardiologist Dilli Bhurtel, MD
UnityPoint Clinic Pediatric Cardiology
Pediatrician Leslie Greenlee, MD
UnityPoint Clinic Pediatrics

Not long after she called back to tell me that Corbin needed to be admitted to the Pediatric Unit at St. Luke's Hospital. She kept things simple as I processed my child needed to go into the hospital immediately and where I would need to go. 

Nothing could have prepared me for what was waiting when we arrived on the 2nd floor of the Helen G. Nassif Women's and Children's Center. There was a team of people who greeted us and quickly got to work getting Corbin set up with monitors, IV's and running tests that Pediatric Cardiologist Dilli Bhurtel, MD, had ordered. 

All of the doctors and nurses took time to explain to me what was going on and why. Corbin had been admitted because he had a very fast and irregular heartbeat and we needed to find the cause and get it under control as quickly as possible.

That night I met with Dr. Bhurtel for the first time and was told that Corbin had a condition known as SVT ( Supra Ventricular Tachycardia). We spent a week in the hospital as everyone worked to find the medications that were going to work best for Corbin. On August 2 we went home with a more specific diagnosis of PJRT (Persistent Junctional Reciprocating Tachycardia). 

We also had a game plan that we would be going to another hospital for an ablation performed via catheter, as keeping Corbin on the daily regimen of medications would be difficult for him in the long term due to his varying schedule. On August 9,  Corbin underwent the ablation procedure and it was a success.

He no longer is required to wear a heart monitor or take daily medications. This process of determining what was best for Corbin would not have been possible if we had not had the support of Dr. Bhurtel, who took the time to sit with us and discuss all options available and listened to what Corbin's father and I thought would be best for him in the long term. 

We are so grateful for all of the doctors and nurses who worked with us through a very difficult time and am thankful to them all that I now have a happy and healthy 10 year old son that can go on to live a normal and active life. 

I honestly owe them all my son's life as we believe his condition has been life long and went unnoticed due to him not having any symptoms and showing no signs during previous doctor visits. Corbin is looking forward to playing sports this coming spring and summer. 

I honestly feel that had it not been for Dr. Greenlee and her nurse being diligent and taking the time to dig deeper at what could have seemed to be just a nervous child in their office that the outcome could have been very different. 

Our family thanks Dr. Bhurtel for always taking the time to explain what was going on through the process of finding a diagnosis and treatment plan and treating Corbin as though he was his own child who he wanted nothing but the best for.

Dr. Bhurtel took the time to make sure we all understood what was going on with Corbin and why certain tests were being done. He also sat down with us and discussed in detail the treatment options available. Corbin's situation with his schedule made some decisions for us as we knew keeping him on medications required to be given multiple times a day for a long period of time would be very difficult for him and our family. It was not our first choice to have Corbin undergo the ablation procedure, but we knew as we talked with Dr. Bhurtel that it was what was in Corbin's best interest and I had trust in him that he would only send us to another facility that he trusted would have the best outcome for our family as it was not a procedure offered here in Cedar Rapids. 

Again I am very thankful to everyone we worked with during this time and couldn't have asked for a better group of people to treat my son and myself with as much respect and patience as we received. 

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